A claw toe is a type deformity of the toe which involves:
- the toe being bent downwards (flexion) at the middle joint of the toe (PIP Joint)
- the toe being bent upwards (extension) at the joint at the ball of the foot (MTP Joint)
- sometimes the toe can also be bent downwards at the end joint (DIPJ), resulting in the toe curling under.
Because of the deformity, painful corns or calluses often form over the top of the toe or under the ball of the foot.
Claw toe can be inherited and present from birth, however it is commonly caused by wearing poorly fiiting shoes, including shoes that are too short or heels that are too high. Under these conditions, your toe may be forced against the front of your shoe, resulting in an unnatural bending of your toe and a claw-like appearance.
A simple measure of relieving the pain and pressure of claw toe is changing your footwear. However, in more severe case of claw toe, surgery may be needed.